Over £230,000 has been raised by The Gleneagles Hotel over the last eight years, through The Supporting Big Tree Country scheme, which has been used entirely to support important woodland conservation projects throughout Perth and Kinross.

The scheme, which is managed by the Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT) and was introduced at Gleneagles in January 2008, raises funds through a discretionary £1 guest donation on check-out.

The fundraising achievement was acknowledged at a special event this week, when representatives of PKCT visited Gleneagles to pay special thanks to the hotel’s ongoing support of the scheme.

Gleneagles’ donations have benefited a number of important initiatives throughout Perth and Kinross to protect, promote and enhance the area’s tree and woodland heritage.

Projects have included invigorating the historic Orchards of the Carse of Gowrie; improving access to Perthshire’s countryside for all ages and abilities; and saving some of the world’s rarest and most remarkable tree species through the Conifer Conservation Project.

Morag Watson, Trust Manager for PKCT said:  “We couldn’t do what we do without Gleneagles.  There would be footpaths in Perthshire that would not be accessible, heritage tress that would not have survived and important conservation projects that could not have been carried out were it not for the generous donations of Gleneagles’ guests – so we are tremendously grateful for the hotel’s ongoing support.

“It’s also wonderful to come here in person, to see the international impact of this support – with examples of the Conifer Conservation Project’s work showcased on the hotel grounds.

“This includes a striking tree that can be seen from the windows of The Century Bar – the enigmatic Monkey Puzzle, Araucaria araucana – which is under threat in its native habitat in South America, and has found a perfect home at Gleneagles.”

Most recently, PKCT has been using the money raised by Gleneagles’ donations to carry out emergency work on the ancient Birnam Oak – the last remaining fragment of Birnam Wood which was made famous by Shakespeare’s Macbeth.  The recent works on the 500-year-old tree, to remove dead wood, shorten its branches, and reduce the strain on its hollow trunk, will ensure the great tree’s survival for future generations.     

Paul Heery, Gleneagles’ General Manager said: “Perthshire’s diverse flora and fauna, its beautiful scenery and its unique heritage draw huge numbers of visitors every year and are crucial to the economy and reputation of the region.

“Each year, the funds raised by our generous guests’ donations have allowed us to make a significant contribution to the important conservation activities of the Supporting Perthshire Big Tree Country scheme.

“We’ve been proud to support this scheme for the last eight years and look forward to our continued partnership with Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust, which gives us the opportunity to play our small part in safeguarding the region’s vital natural assets.”